Welcome to The Doghouse, a weekly column recapping Union University sports action from the weekend.
This weekend, the women’s and men’s basketball teams won at Mississippi College. Baseball swept Shorter University in a three game series, while the softball team was swept 3-0.
“It’s been a crazy season,” said Jada Smith, Union basketball player. “The biggest thing is that we have continued to just fight through all the adversity we have had and not given up. This time of year, people get over confident, but we have definitely been humbled and are hungry to win now more than ever.”
The Lady Bulldogs defeated Mississippi College 73-57 on Saturday.
Olivia Mabry scored first, giving the Lady Choctaws an early 3-0 lead, but the Lady Bulldogs responded with a Chelsea Bodiford three and a subsequent 13-2 run. Mississippi College put up five unanswered to end the first quarter, making it 16-10.
In the second quarter, the two teams traded baskets until Union posted a 15-0 run to take a 35-16 lead. The half ended with the Lady Bulldogs up 35-21.
In the second half, Union posted its largest lead of the game at 45-24 after a Tiffany Rechis three-pointer. The Lady Bulldogs maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the contest.
In the end, Union shot 46 percent from the field to 32 percent for Mississippi College. Bria Gaines led the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points and nine rebounds. Smith had 12 points, seven assists, and six rebounds, Bodiford scored 11 and had 8 boards, and Jada Perkins scored 10.
“I was feeling really great after the win Saturday,” Smith said. “We still have a lot of work to do and things to improve on, but I love the direction we are headed, and we have a lot of confidence going into the final weeks of play.”
The Lady Bulldogs are 15-11 overall and 10-10 in conference.
“Our record may not show it, but we have still been the team to beat all season,” Smith said. “The comeback we have had to get back in a position to be in the [conference] tournament has really given us some motivation that we still have more to prove.”
Union defeated Mississippi College 83-77 on Saturday.
The Bulldogs dominated the first half, shooting 60 percent from the field and taking a 44-23 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the Choctaws began to put together a comeback. After a Tray Boyd three gave the Bulldogs their largest lead at 53-25, Mississippi College scored 27 points to Union’s 14. This cut the lead to 67-52 with about seven minutes to play.
Mississippi College continued the comeback, and Antonio Johnson hit a three for the Choctaws with about 30 seconds remaining to make the score 79-75. The Bulldogs escaped thanks to success at the free throw line late in the game.
“Coach [David Niven] gave us motivation in the huddles to keep pushing and play together on offense and defense,” said Boyd.
Union shot 51 percent from the field and 73 percent from the foul line to 50 percent from the field and 52 percent from the foul line for Mississippi College. Boyd and Charlie Wilson led the Bulldogs with 17 points, while KC Goodwin added 12 of his own. Wilson had a double-double with 10 rebounds.
The Bulldogs are 14-12 overall and 9-11 in conference.
This weekend marked the beginning of Gulf South play for the Bulldogs, and they came out hot, sweeping Shorter 3-0.
In Game 1, Union won 14-4. Each Bulldog who played in the game scored, and four hitters went deep. It started with Nolen Milton’s fifth homer of the season, which was a two-run shot that scored Tyler Mauzy. The Bulldogs continued to climb, with two runs in each inning from the second to the fourth. Shorter cut the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and another pair in the fifth, but Union continued scoring. Ryne Roper had a solo homerun in the fifth, and the Bulldogs had a five-run seventh. JR Miller earned the win, going six innings, and Austin Kitterman closed the game, striking out the side.
In Game 2, the Bulldogs won 11-5. Leading 2-1, Union scored five runs in the top of the fifth. Milton had a 2-RBI single to center that scored David Robbins and Austin Orr, and Zach Phillips had a three-run homerun. Shorter responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning, but Union tacked on three more in the sixth with an Orr homer and a 2-RBI double from Zach Wylie to make the score 10-3. In the eighth, Shorter walked in Milton and went on to put up two runs in the bottom of the inning to set the 11-5 final. Teddy Christie earned the win, going seven innings, while Cooper Bullough and Kitterman split the last two innings to secure the final.
In Game 3, Shorter scored first, with a two-run first and a one-run second to go up 3-0, but Union controlled the rest of the game, winning 10-5. The Bulldogs didn’t have any homers in this game, but Shorter allowed eight hits and committed four errors, which cost them the game. Marty Coursey earned the win for Union, pitching four innings, while Kitterman threw two innings and Roper closed out the day.
The Bulldogs improve to 10-1 on the season and 3-0 in conference play.
The Lady Bulldogs struggled this weekend, losing all three games at Shorter.
In Game 1, Union lost 7-6. The Lady Bulldogs scored first, with a sacrifice fly, an error, a wild pitch, and a single combining to give Union a 4-0 lead after two innings. The Lady Hawks answered with three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings to go ahead 6-4. In the seventh, Hailey Cummings had a 2-RBI single to send the game into extra innings. Neither team scored until the international tiebreaker rule came into play in the tenth inning and Shorter’s Taylor Martin had an RBI single. Hannah Ridolfi took the loss, allowing five runs on nine hits over nine innings.
In Game 2, Shorter defeated Union 8-2. The Lady Bulldogs scored their two runs in the top of the first inning. After that, Shorter dominated, starting with a three-run third, where Tiffany Holland had a triple and Ericka Bynum had a two-run-inside-the-park homerun. The Lady Hawks continued scoring, and after a total of 12 hits allowed, Union’s Ridolfi took the loss.
In Game 3, Union fell 4-1. Shorter’s runs came from a Bynum two-run homer and a Carson Carriker 2-RBI double. Union’s lone score came when Ridolfi was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Gabby Morris took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings pitched.
The Lady Bulldogs are now 6-5 overall and 0-3 in conference.
Tuesday, baseball plays at Harding University. Wednesday, softball plays a doubleheader at LeMoyne-Owen College. Thursday, women’s and men’s basketball host North Alabama. Saturday, baseball and softball host doubleheaders with Christian Brothers, while women’s and men’s basketball host Alabama Huntsville. The baseball and softball series will continue into Sunday.